People’s Wood

The planting of the People’s Wood (Keyll yn Phobble in Manx) at Meary Veg in Santon is nearing completion. Chief Minister Howard Quayle announced a plan to create the woodland in June 2019, a month after it pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. More than 70,000 trees have now been planted by local contractors since Mr Quayle planted one of the first in February 2021.

The Chief Minister said: ‘I am delighted to see such progress as we acknowledge Earth Day 2021. This year’s theme is restore our earth – and this project is helping to do just that. The new woodland will create important habitat, boost carbon capture and create a new amenity for Islanders to connect with nature and boost wellbeing. We can’t do much about the weather and the remaining planting will take place at the earliest opportunity.’

The 45 hectare (111 acre) site has been planted mainly with a mix of broadleaf species including Aspen, Willow, Sycamore and Oak, paid for by sponsors Barclays.

Precautions

Manx Care, the island’s health and social care provider, has today introduced a number of measures across health and social care settings to protect patients, service users and staff following the recent confirmation of a small number of unexplained Covid-19 cases. This is with immediate effect and will be reviewed in 48 hours.

The measures cover the use of PPE, social distancing, hospital visiting, GP practices, optical practices, dental practices providing NHS dental services, care homes and other residential facilities across the island.

Coastguard Rescue

Peel Coastguard was today called to assist the ambulance service with recovery of a casualty who had come off their motorbike on an off road track in the hills above Kirk Michael. 

A spokesman said: ‘The rendezvous with Paramedics and travelled up to the casualty location. Once stabilized, the casualty was put in a stretcher and secured into our vehicle for the slow journey back down [and] transferred to ambulance for a quick less bumpy ride to Nobles.

‘Luckily the rider’s friend was able to give an exact location of the accident using the What3words app which meant a quicker extraction.’

What3words is a system which provides a designation to your exact location on earth, for more info on it, see here.

Oxygen on Mars

A cool story from the red planet today as NASA announced an instrument on its Perseverance rover on Mars has made oxygen from the planet’s carbon dioxide atmosphere. It’s the second successful technology demonstration on the mission, after a mini-helicopter was flown on Monday.

About five grams of oxygen, equivalent to what an astronaut on Mars would need to breathe for roughly 10 minutes, was created. The space agency is working on the theory that future human missions would take scaled-up versions of the machinery with them to Mars rather than try to carry from Earth all the oxygen needed to sustain them.

Dyson Leak Investigated

The UK gov has announced an internal inquiry into the leak of texts between Boris Johnson and Sir James Dyson.

Texts published by the BBC showed Boris promising Sir James he would ‘fix’ an issue on the tax status of Dyson staff working in the UK during the pandemic. Labour has said the messages are part of a pattern of gov ‘sleaze’ and Boris Johnson has said he won’t apologise for trying to get ventilators by any means necessary. The company did not make any ventilators for the UK in the end but fresh off the back of the David Cameron Greensill scandal, the timing is far from ideal for the PM.

India

The BBC has reported that India has recorded the highest one-day tally of new Covid-19 cases anywhere in the world – and the country’s highest number of deaths over 24 hours. It recorded some 314,835 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,104. India has close to 16 million confirmed cases, second only to the US.  The country is struggling with a second wave, raising more fears about its overwhelmed health care system. Crowds have formed outside hospitals in major cities which are filled to capacity. A number of people have died while waiting for oxygen. Families are waiting hours to perform funeral rites, Reuters news agency reports, with at least one Delhi crematorium resorting to building pyres in its car park in order to cope with the numbers arriving.

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